Crowdfunding: An Essential Tool For Today’s Fundraising Mix

By February 10, 2016Fundraising, Guest Post

This week we have a hot topic and guest post by Deposit a Gift Founder, Dana Ostomel, our guest speaker for the February 18th Ignited Fundraising Community webinar, Crowdfunding 101.

Dana Ostomel_headshotChances are you’ve heard of crowdfunding, simply defined as online social fundraising, but you might not have a lot of experience with it. If you’re a fundraiser, it’s a way to give your efforts a more engaging platform to reach more people and raise more money.

People often ask me why they should start a crowdfunding campaign for their cause.

The better question: Why not?

While crowdfunding takes time and effort, it takes less than traditional alternatives AND can yield more results. The social nature of crowdfunding sites makes them more efficient to distribute – over and over and over again, which is one of the keys to success!

Plus, there are other positive bi-products like brand buzz, growing your email list, and engaging new or dormant donors.

Crowdfunding is a low-risk, high reward way to engage your community, and unlike other expensive fundraising initiatives, it doesn’t cost much more than your elbow grease.

We’ll be doing a deep dive into ‘Crowdfunding 101’ during my live webinar on February 18th. Here is some of what we will cover:

Give Your Online Fundraising Efforts a Social Home

Nonprofit Crowdfunding Website ExampleCrowdfunding is a way to create a fun and engaging home for your online fundraising efforts. It compels people not just to give, but also to share — one of the keys to crowdfunding. Even if you have a website for your organization, typical sterile, transactional donation pages just don’t cut it anymore when you are doing more than just providing a place for one-off donations. If you are launching a mission-specific campaign, you want to create a site dedicated to that mission with one goal, one thermometer, one URL to rally around!

It’s All About The Marketing

One of the keys to crowdfunding is the viral nature of a campaign, but this doesn’t happen by accident. In the webinar, I will teach you strategies on how to use your crowdfunding campaign site to harness the power of social media and your social network. With the right prompting, supporters can quickly share and like your campaign on Facebook, Twitter, and more, right from the home page. Don’t get me wrong, you’ll still need a marketing plan, and you’ll want to recruit an online street team to help you, but crowdfunding is so integrated with social media that it makes marketing a lot easier.

Create Integrated Campaigns

Sample Crowdfunding Site for EducationCrowdfunding is a useful tool to integrate into any fundraising initiative.

In-person fundraising events can be given new life by creating a crowdfunding site and using it as the online home base that opens up the virtual doors on events. Donors can go contribute online and help raise awareness, making the reach of your event go well-beyond just one night. Also, sites like Deposit a Gift allow you to sell tickets to your events and post offline donations to your campaign thermometer, so all your fundraising progress is tracked in one place.

Easy For Donors

Crowdfunding is often the easiest, and most fun, route for donors. They can check out your campaign on any device, read about your cause, and donate within seconds via credit card! Crowdfunding campaigns are even easy to share via text message. So go out there and tell your story. Use crowdfunding as a creative avenue to bring awareness and renewed enthusiasm to your next project. If you market your cause sufficiently and put in the effort to harness the power of your community’s crowd, you should see incredible results!

Join me February 18 to learn the ins-and-outs to make this happen for the next campaign you have in mind.

Dana Ostomel is the founder of Deposit a Gift, the crowdfunding platform that lets you raise money for anything that matters to you. Use it to raise money for any organizational or personal need, from charity to school fundraising, memorial funds, medical bills, disaster relief, or crowdfunding a personal project.Follow Dana and the Deposit a Gift team on Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube!

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